Trainee chefs taught how to cook game at Wensleydale restaurant

The Blue Lion's Jon Appleby with trainee chefs Jade Clough, Sarah Hamilton, Joseph Metcalf, and Ryan Badham.

The Blue Lion in East Witton celebrated Great British Game Week this week by inviting trainee chefs from Middlesbrough College to learn how to prepare and cook partridge.

The chefs will also saw the birds’ natural habitat, before finally sitting down to sample their own dish.

The trainees, including Jade Clough, Sarah Hamilton, Joseph Metcalf and Ryan Badham, watched and worked alongside the Blue Lion’s chef, Jon Appleby, also from Middlesbrough, who passed on his skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for cooking game.

“It’s so important for our trainees to get first-hand experience of cooking with locally sourced ingredients by a professional chef in a professional kitchen,” said Molly Shaher, curriculum team leader from Middlesbrough College.

“Creativity is crucial to this industry and new chefs must be open to incorporating new food items into their recipes, and updating old ones, so we are delighted that the Blue Lion have asked some of our degree students to gain knowledge, inspiration and experience of cooking game.”

Partridge is one of the healthiest meats being very low in fat and cholesterol, containing no saturated fatty acids, and also high in iron, selenium and zinc.

Jon will also be visiting Middlesbrough College before Christmas to teach a larger group of trainee chefs how to prepare and cook venison.

He said: “Many people don’t think of cooking game at home but when you eat food that is in season and accessible it becomes affordable and partridge can be bought for less than the price of a chicken.

“I appreciate that from a chef’s perspective we get excited about cooking locally sourced ingredients but it is truly an honour to cook native ingredients in a place that is steeped in history.

“I just love this area and showcasing its offerings to the next generation of chefs today has been a privilege.”